Other programs on the new HBO Max demonstrate the multichannel synergy that WarnerMedia seeks. The streaming service will pluck shows from other channels in the Turner networks trove (TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, truTV, Turner Classic Movies) which came with HBO when AT&T bought the legendary Time Warner content factory/warehouse and renamed it WarnerMedia. And since the Warner TV studio was such a production powerhouse for many TV networks, HBO Max will include shows such as Friends (NBC) and The Big Bang Theory (CBS).
Older TV series are a staple of Netflix, ranging from classics such as NBC’s The West Wing to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which ran on The CW. Amazon Prime also has a lengthy roster of TV shows, including HBO’s Sex & the City. Of course, Amazon Prime’s TV roster is also loaded with broadcast titles, such as NBC’s Frasier and Fox’s House.
Collectively, this treasure chest of choices promises every show from every channel from any time.
Many of these old shows will find new homes. And that leads us to the new program layout. Disney+ is amassing hundreds of titles from its own parent company’s library (including ABC-TV programs) as well as shows from newly acquired 20th Century Fox, both prolific content factories. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal — also a production dynamo — has pulled out more shows for Peacock streaming as well as pulled back shows that were available on Netflix, Amazon and other streamers, such as The Office and Parks and Recreation.
Peacock has lined up hundreds of hours of A&E programs, which include History Channel shows. American Pickers, Cold Case Files and Storage Wars will be on the Peacock menu.
The corporate plan to cross-pollinate shows on multiple platforms is also taking shape in the linear video sector. The newly re-unified ViacomCBS will accelerate its efforts to highlight programs from its premium Showtime channel onto MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central and pluck programs from other “basic” channels. Collectively, this treasure chest of choices promises every show from every channel from any time. But it also raises questions about how viewers will discover the shows, if the programs will be on services that viewers buy and how the new shows will fit into the crowded inventory of old programs on new platforms.
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